Rocks under the Microscope Zone II Versions ZH1 Vol 5 (3) 2020
A photomicrograph dataset of He-8 Member sandstone from the Upper Paleozoic in northeastern Ordos Basin
: 2020 - 06 - 30
: 2020 - 08 - 29
: 2020 - 07 - 23
: 2020 - 09 - 23
277 0 0
Abstract & Keywords
Abstract: There are abundant gas resources in the Upper Paleozoic of the northern Ordos Basin. He-8 member is the main gas production layer in the Sulige gas field. However, to date, He-8 member has been mainly studied to elucidate core, logging, and earthquake, whereas finer-level research on outcrops is inadequate, especially those on the systematic microscopic characteristics of sandstones. Therefore, in this study, we performed a field survey on the outcrops of the Tianshengqiao section in the periphery of the Ordos Basin, located in Fugu County, Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China, which has the same provenance as the He-8 member of Sulige gas field as well as a relatively consistent sedimentary environment. The survey included on-site measurement, description, and intensive sampling of the Tianshengqiao section. We systematically looked into the types, structural characteristics, mineral composition, diagenesis, and other aspects of the rocks in the Tianshengqiao section to build a comprehensive sandstone microscopic image dataset. This dataset can be used to support studies of sandstone characteristics and high-quality reservoir protection in the Upper Paleozoic of the northern Ordos Basin.
Keywords: Ordos Basin; Upper Paleozoic; He-8 Member; sandstone; microscopic Image
Dataset Profile
TitleA photomicrograph dataset of He-8 Member sandstone from the Upper Paleozoic in northeastern Ordos Basin.
Data authorsShi Ge,Hu Zuowei,Li Yun,Liu Can,Guan Jinhong,Chen Hongde,Hou Mingcai,Wang Feng.
Data corresponding authorHu Zuowei(
Time rangeThe samples are attributed to the stratigraphic age of late Permian; the rock samples were collected in 2018, and the polarizing micrographs were obtained in 2019.
Geographical scopeThe samples were collected from the northeastern Ordos Basin, located in Fugu County, Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, China.
Polarized microscope resolution1360*1024 pixels.
Data volume3.98 GB
Data format*.png, *.docx, *.xls
Data service system<>
Sources of fundingNational Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41772100); National Science and Technology Major Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2016ZX05050).
Dataset compositionThe dataset consists of four data files, namely, “section,” “comprehensive columns of the measured sections.xls,” “corresponding field exposure photos.xls,” and “section information table.xls.” Specifically, they are: (1) a dataset of 1144 singly and orthogonally polarized microphotographs of 280 thin sections (.png), with a data volume of 3.95 GB; (2) the comprehensive columns of the measured profiles contain characteristics of the stratigraphic age and lithology of the Tianshengqiao section, Fugu County; (3) the field exposure images the measured profiles contain the macrofeatures of the measured sections on the field; (4) the section information table contains basic information and identification data of 280 rock sections, with a data volume of 165 KB.
1.   Introduction
Tight gas reservoirs in China are characterized by strong heterogeneity, large porosity variation, and relatively small thickness; they are the main forces of oil and gas production at present[1,2]. The Upper Paleozoic tight sandstone in the north of the Ordos Basin is rich in natural gas resources[3–5], among which Sulige gas field is a large integrated natural gas field with world-class reserves in China[3,6,7], and a large continental sandstone lithologic trap gas reservoir has been developed. The main gas-producing layer is the He-8 member of the lower Shihezi Formation and Shanxi Formation[8–11].
With the deepening of exploration and development, there have been some studies on the characteristics of sedimentary facies[12,13], the direction of source[12,14,15], the internal configuration of channel sand body[16–18], diagenesis[19], reservoir heterogeneity[20], pore structure[21,22], reservoir formation[23,24] and so on in He-8 member of the Sulige gas field. There are significant differences in pore throat structure and reservoir physical properties of different microfacies and lithology[25–27]. However, at present, there are still great controversies in sedimentary facies types, material sources, reservoir influencing factors, such as sedimentary facies types in He-8 member, and there are views on delta[3,28], braided river and delta[29,30], braided river [16,31–36], braided river and meandering river[13,37,38], braided river delta-lake deposition[12]. The reason is that the related research on He-8 member is mainly focused on drilling core, logging, and earthquake, but lacks the detailed comparative study of corresponding outcrops. In addition, the thin sheet photo can directly reflect the rock type, structural characteristics, mineral composition, diagenesis, and so on, which can provide a favorable reference for the in-depth study of the source characteristics, sedimentary system, and reservoir conditions. However, there is a lack of systematic microscopic image data in this area, and only a few typical rock images related to this area have been shown in the published articles.
Therefore, through literature review and outcrop field exploration in the He-8 member of the peripheral basin, based on comparative analysis with the He-8 member in the eastern region of Sulige, In this article, the He-8 member of Tianshengqiao section in Fugu County, the northern Ordos Basin, which is the same as Yinshan Paleoland and sedimentary environment is selected for study. Based on field sample collection and casting sheet making, the microscopic identification, component content statistics, phenomenon description, and image collection of clastic rocks in this area are performed, and the results of the microscopic image dataset of clastic rocks are formed.
2.   Data acquisition and processing methods
Based on the literature review and field survey of peripheral outcrop, representative stratigraphic profiles were selected for measurement and description. The profile involved in the dataset was the Tianshengqiao section of Fugu County, northeast margin of Ordos Basin (Fig.1), located in Fugu County, Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, China[13]. Raw data and information related to measured profiles were obtained via field observations. Detailed comprehensive histogram and photographs of measured profiles are shown in Figs. 2 and 3, respectively. The total number of samples is 280, sampled intensively with equal 30-cm spacing and local encryption near the four-segment interface of lower2 He8, lower1 He8, upper2 He8, and upper1 He8.

Fig. 1   Structural map and location of the Tianshengqiao section in Fugu County
The sedimentary facies type and reservoir configuration of the Tianshengqiao section in Fugu County have been studied[13,18]. The upper and second sections in He-8 member of the section are mainly braided river deposits, and the upper section of the upper He-8 member is meandering river deposits.
The 280 samples were ground into thin sheets of a 0.03mm thickness; to effectively distinguish dolomite from calcite binder, one-third of the flakes were treated with alizarin red staining. In the Institute of Sedimentary Geology of Chengdu University of Technology laboratory, the systematic identification of rock flakes was performed via a polarizing microscope of research grade, including composition statistics, pore type and content statistics, rock structure, as well as diagenesis; the microscopic images of rocks were collected systematically. The methods of photographing and information collection were according to the standard of the special issue of Rock Micrograph in which the description of thin flakes and the name of sedimentary rocks were based on the standard determined by the special topic of Rock Micrographics[39].
3.   Sample description
This dataset mainly consists of four parts—the measured profiles, comprehensive histogram of the measured profiles, corresponding field outcrop photo sheet images, and thin sheet information table in XLS format.
3.1   Comprehensive histogram of measured profiles
The measured profile comprehensive histogram is in PNG format, showing the information of formation thickness, horizon name, lithologic characteristics, sedimentary facies characteristics, sampling location, etc. of the measured profile (Fig. 2). The total number of samples is 280, and the samples are sampled intensively with equal 30-cm spacing and local encryption.

Fig. 2   Comprehensive histogram of He8 Member of Tianshengqiao section in Fugu County in northeast margin of Ordos Basin
3.2   Photographs of measured profiles and corresponding field outcrops
The measured profile and corresponding field outcrop photos show the information of the length, thickness, and sequence characteristics of the measured profile (Fig. 3) in PNG format, which is beneficial to the understanding of the overall situation of the profile.

Fig. 3   (a, b) The photos of measured profile and corresponding field outcrop Tianshengqiao section in Fugu County in northeast margin of Ordos Basin, respectively
3.3   Thin photograph
The thin sheet photo dataset consisted of polarized micrographs of 280 rock flakes. Each rock slice contained one orthogonal and one single polarized micrographs with the same horizon. Moreover, the color of the micrograph was consistent with the naked-eye observation under a polarizing microscope, and the composition in the micrograph was identical to that described in the identification report. The resolution of the micrographs was 1360×1024 pixels in PNG format. Select the appropriate multiple according to the particle size, Based on the principle of clear image recognition, Clastic scale in the lower right corner, μm. units Coding principle: slice number m digital serial number “or -,” S1-A3m1-, if multiple sheets are taken with S1-A3 number S1-A3m1-, S1-A3m1+; S1-A3m2-, S1-A3m2+; S1-A3m3-, S1-A3m3+; ……the penultimate “m” is the abbreviation of micrograph, “-“ is single polarized light, “+” is orthogonal polarized light (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4   Sample sheet photo number
In Fig. 4, [a] is X2-E22m1−, unequal calcareous quartzo-lithic sandstone, basal cementation type, and the clastic particles were mainly point and line contacts, the calcite was mainly composed of continuous and embedded crystal cementation, lower2 He8, singly polarized light; [b] is X2-E22m1+, the same horizon as [a], orthogonally polarized light; [c] is S1-C23m1−, unequal argillaceous quartz sandstone, increased-pore type cementation, silicone cementation occurs in the form of secondary enlarged edges around quartz particles, lower2 He8, single polarized light; [d] is S1-C23m1+, the same horizon as [c], orthogonally polarized light; [e] is X2-A17m1−, medium–coarse-grained-mudstone–containing quartz sandstone, pore type cementation, clay mineral cementation is dominated by tuff hybrid kaolinite, upper2 He8, singly polarized light; [f] is X2-A17m1+, the same horizon as [e], orthogonally polarized light; [g] is X2-E20m1−, unequal calcareous quartz lithic sandstone, connected–embedded type cementation, the clastic particles were mainly point and line contacts, calcite mainly appeared in the form of continuous and intercalated cementation, upper2 He8, singly polarized light; [h] is X2-E20m1+, the same horizon as [g], orthogonal polarization.
3.4   Thin sheet information table
Based on the [39] Rock Micrographic standard, Garzanti’s (2016) sandstone classification and naming method[40,41] was simplified and formed. The results showed that 280 rock samples were composed as follows: 179 litho-quartzose sandstone, 93 quartz sandstone, 4 feldspathic sandstone, 4 feldspatho-quartzose sandstone (Table 1).
Table 1   Summary of rock types and lithologic information contained in the data set.
Type of rockQuantityRock type and quantity
Litho-quartzose sandstone17925 mire-bearing quartz sandstone, 8 calcium-bearing quartz sandstone, 17 calcareous litho-quartzose sandstone, 1 Carboniferous litho-quartzose sandstone, 110 quartz sandstone with altered tuffaceous lithic sandstone, 1 Ca-bearing quartz sandstone with altered tuff, 17 lithic quartz sandstone.
Quartzo-lithic sandstone934 Calcareous quartz lithic sandstone, 21 mudstone-bearing lithic sandstone, 67 blocks of altered tuff quartzo-lithic sandstone, 1 Calcium containing diamond iron ore British lithic sandstone.
Feldspatho-lithic sandstone42 Mud feldspar lithic sandstone, 2 Lithic sandstone with altered tuff.
Feldspatho-quartzose sandstone41 Clay feldspatho-quartzose sandstone, 2 Altered tuff feldspatho-quartzose sandstone, 1 calcareous feldspatho-quartzose sandstone.
According to the granularity structure, the grain size distribution range of sandstone was 0.19–1.60 mm, average particle size was 0.42 mm; most were medium-grained sandstone, followed by coarse-grained sandstone. Particle separation - medium, only individual samples were well sorted. The grinding roundness was dominated by the secondary angle, occasionally see subcircular and angular. The quartz clastic components in sandstone were mainly single-crystal quartz; the quartz content of the sample was 21–74% of the total debris, the average content was 51%. Feldspar accounted for 4%–42% of all debris, and the average content was 20%; the cuttings accounted for 13%–54% of the total debris, with 29% average content. The most common cuttings in the sample were the metamorphic ones, followed by sedimentary rocks, containing less igneous cuttings. The content of the hybrid is high, Mainly tuff, High alteration, universal clay, Mainly kaolinite. Heavy minerals were small in sandstones; however, regarding the mother rock, it plays a paramount role in dividing and contrasting strata in detail. The common heavy minerals in sandstone samples were rutile, zircon, and chlorite.
Mechanical compaction was common, debris particles were mostly directional distribution, the contact relationship between particles was mostly point–line contact, mainly line contact. Owing to compaction caused by microcracks, some quartz particles surface extruded and partially formed pseudohybrid groups.
The cementation types of sandstones were mainly pore and enlarged-pore types, whereas a few were basement, basement–pore, continuous, continuous-inlaid, compression–pore, and film–pore types. The cementation of sandstone was mainly clay mineral, iron calcite, and siliceous. The cementation type was closely related to the cementation content. Clay mineral cementation was mainly kaolinite, which was mainly formed via intergranular tuff impurity alteration, surface turbidity, intergranular pore development, distributed between clastic particles, making sandstone pore type cementation type. A small amount of kaolinite was formed by feldspar clastic kaolinite, clean surface, and occupy the position of particles. In addition to kaolinite, a small amount of chlorite clay minerals were found, mainly distributed vertically on the surface of clastic particles in the form of thin films, which made the sandstone part of thin-film cementation type, as well as some chlorite fill in intergranular pores, which were formed by tuff hybrid chlorite. Iron calcite cementation was developed as a whole in the form of continuous and embedded crystals, filling intergranular pores and metasomatic clastic particles, so that sandstone presented basement, continuous, continuous–intercalated, basement–pore cementation types. The quartz cementation showed a secondary enlarged edge on the periphery of clastic quartz, which made the sandstone part show the enlarged cementation type.
Clastic particle alteration was common, especially biotite. The volume of biotite often expanded and precipitated iron along the cleavage joint or mica ilmenite.
The sandstone reservoir space was dominated by secondary dissolution pore and kaolinite intergranular pore, and there were few microfractures and intragranular fractures.
4.   Data quality control and assessment
Rock flake samples meet national and international standards for thickness. In the process of photomicrograph imaging and thin slice identification, the interference color of quartz particles was observed in the same batch of rock flakes. The micrographs had high definition and no color difference. The automatic exposure and white balance were used in the process of microscope imaging so that the color of naked-eye observation and system photo was as consistent as possible, and the resolution of the micrographs was 1360×1024 pixels. The picture was saved in PNG format, so the quality and clarity of the micrograph were reliable.
5.   Data value
The clastic rocks contained in the microscopic images of this dataset will provide good basic references for oil and gas exploration in the Upper Paleozoic in this area, and will help to show the microscopic characteristics under the sedimentary environment of braided and meandering rivers in this period. It will enrich the basic geological data of the Upper Paleozoic in the northern Ordos Basin.
6.   Data usage methods and recommendations
The data form of this dataset is simple, mainly in the form of photos; however, please note the following points when using them:
(1) All the flakes in the dataset were stored by Professor Hu Zuowei’s research group, Chengdu University of Technology. If the micrographs provided in the above dataset do not meet the needs of further research, you can contact them to apply for further use of these flakes.
(2) If you wish to simply use the image set, you can download it directly from the database; however, if you need to further solve the scientific problems related to geoscience, you need to combine the geographical location provided in the data information table and the geological age and tectonic background of rock formation.
Thank you to Dr. Sun Shi, Dr. Zhu Shengxian, Master Dong Jie, and Master Wei Yang for their help in field measurement profile and sample collection.
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Data citation
SHI G, HU ZW, LI Y, et, al. A photomicrograph dataset of He8 Member sandstone from the Upper Paleozoic in northeastern Ordos Basin. Science Data Bank, 2020. (2020-07-23). DOI: 10.11922/sciencedb.j00001.00060.
Article and author information
How to cite this article
SHI G, HU ZW, LI Y, et, al. A photomicrograph dataset of He8 Member sandstone from the Upper Paleozoic in northeastern Ordos Basin. China Scientific Data, 2020, 5(3). (2020-08-26). DOI: 10.11922/csdata.2020.0054.zh.
Shi Ge
Mainly undertake the work: thin photography, data collation, paper writing.
master’s degree, research direction is sedimentology.
Hu Zuowei
Mainly responsible for work: field planning design, sample collection, data set design, paper revision.
Ph. D., professor, research direction is sedimentology.
Li Yun
Mainly responsible for work: data set design, paper revision.
Ph. D., senior experimenter, research direction is sedimentology.
Liu Can
Mainly undertake the work: thin photo, data collation.
master degree, research direction for mineral survey and exploration.
Guan Jinhong
Main work: sheet photo, data collation.
master’s degree, research direction is sedimentology.
Chen Hongde
Main work: the overall design of the paper.
professor, doctoral supervisor, research direction is sedimentology.
Hou Mingcai
Main work: the overall design and control of the paper.
professor, doctoral supervisor, research direction is sedimentology.
Wang Feng
Mainly responsible for: field planning design, sample collection.
Ph. D., associate professor, research direction is sedimentology.
Publication records
Published: Sept. 23, 2020 ( VersionsZH1
Released: July 23, 2020 ( VersionsZH2
Published: Sept. 23, 2020 ( VersionsZH3